1 April 12, 2018. OVERVIEW . Most growers have transitioned to Salinas. We expect a full transition within the next few days. Most commodities are steady. Due to the rain and colder weather, we are seeing slower growth rates on romaine. We are also seeing open full leaves and very green color. Strawberries have improved. MARKET ALERTS. AVOCADO ESCALATED LIMES ESCALATED. MUSHROOMS ESCALATED. TRANSPORTATION & WEATHER. Rates, although higher than expected, have eased as overall demand is lower. However, we do expect to see rates begin to increase as we approach the summer months as there is still an overall shortage of drivers. ELD's will be creating longer transit times which, as demand increases, will force rates to firm.
2 SOUTHEAST: HERMOSILLO: CULIACAN: SALINAS: HURON: GOOD BUYS. Cucumbers and Summer Squash! Cucumber water is in and can help soothe your skin from the inside out! Staying hydrated and flush your body of toxins, as well as maintain a healthy complexion this early spring season. Try this delish cucumber water recipe out for yourself! Ingredients: 1 Cucumber Pitcher 2 Quarts water Instructions: Remove strips of cucumber skin, creating 1/2-inch-wide alternating bands of peeled and bare cucumber. Trim and discard ends. Halve cucumber lengthwise; cut into 1/2-inch slices. Combine cucumber and water in large pitcher; steep for 1 hour, and serve over ice. The sun is shining, flowers are sprouting, and it is time to bust out the grill!
3 Learn a thing or two from the tips below about how to make that divine mixed grilled plate of assorted veggies. Here are a couple of tips to make sure your grill game is on point this season! Cut it down: Slice whatever veggie you are working with into workable pieces- you want to aim for a size that is small enough to cook quickly, but big enough to keep from falling apart while cooking. Slice tomatoes in half, cut corn into 2-inch pieces, slice eggplant, zucchini and yellow squash into 1/4-inch thick slices or rounds, cut bell peppers into thick strips and trim the stems off of mushrooms. Asparagus and scallions can go on whole. Season: Lightly coat veggies in olive oil and sprinkle them with salt and pepper to prep them for the grill.
4 You can also marinate them in a sauce if you want (I like teriyaki). Flip once: Place the veggies directly on the grill, over medium heat. Cook, flipping once, until tender and those gorgeous grill marks appear, roughly 4-10 minutes, depending on the vegetable ("sturdier" ones take longer). Flavor: Feel free to dress your veggies with a tasty vinaigrette or a dash of balsamic vinegar after grilling. YUM! Source FRUITS & VEGETABLES. AVOCADOS ESCALATED Sizes in escalation include: 48 #2 and #2, 60#1 and 70 #1's. Weekly volumes are expected to dip slightly due to Holy Week in Mexico, while harvest levels increase in California. Premium grade fruit has become short and remains heavy on grade 2 small fruit.
5 In California, volumes are expected to increase this month; however, heavy rain last week and the predicted forecast calling for additional rain this week will limit local harvesting. BANANAS Demand on this item remains firm; however, prices will continue to ease. Quality will remain inconsistent due to weather that has impacted the growing regions in Guatemala, Mexico, and Costa Rica. This only further complicates an already short banana market across the country due to virus impacts. Due to improving inventories, we should no longer see ripening issues. PINEAPPLES Demand remains firm, and quality and supplies are gradually improving. FOB quotes at the port are mostly unchanged. GRAPES Good quality continues on the offshore programs, and pricing is normal for this time of year (mid 20's for premium sizing and deals being made on small fruit).
6 Quality continues to be good. Pearlettes out of Mexico should begin crossing mid-May with the desert to follow. Thompsons are now available, pricing in the upper 20's to low 30's. Other varieties available include: Crimsons, Globes, and Autumn Royals. KIWI California supplies are very limited; lighter supplies are also expected on Italian fruit coming through the East Coast. Markets continue to firm up. BLUEBERRIES Availability is good, Georgia blues will start up soon adding more availability to this commodity. BLACKBERRIES The market is steady, and quality is good. RASPBERRIES We are seeing some shortages in supply in this market, quality is good. STRAWBERRIES This market has improved. Quality is good to fair depending on the region.
7 CALIFORNIA-ARIZONA CITRUS. Demand on lemons has improved; however, it's still a lower yield than in years past. Upcoming issues with weather may potentially create issues with supply and quality. We will keep you posted. GRAPEFRUIT Texas grapefruit is available. Florida Star Ruby/Red is available. California grapefruit has started. LEMONS This is a very active market. Prices are still higher than normal, but quality is good. LIMES (PERSIAN) ESCALATED This market remains high and although supplies are still very tight, they are improving weekly. ORANGES We are still seeing a shortage in supply and high prices. Smaller sizes are more available than larger sizes at this time. We are hearing that this market will become even shorter in supply; expect to start seeing much higher prices and shortages in product.
8 Specialties: Pink Lemons are available. Gold Nugget mandarins are available. Ojai Pixie Tangerines are available. Only a few Minneola's are left. Domestic Blood oranges and Cara Caras are available showing good quality. New Zealand Meyers are available. Halos and Cuties are available. Few Pummelos are left. CALIFORNIA LETTUCE. GREEN & RED LEAF Quality is good; however, there is some blistering and peel in the red leaf. BUTTER Supplies are normal and quality is average. ICEBERG LETTUCE Quality is average and the market is steady. ROMAINE Quality and prices are average. Supply is shorter than normal. Color is very green. ROMAINE HEARTS Supplies are slightly below average, quality is good, and prices are average.
9 EASTERN & WESTERN VEGETABLES. Coachella is expected to begin production first week of April. Squash and eggplant will start the season followed by green bells, beans, red bells and corn. PEPPERS. Green Bell Pepper: Supplies out of Florida are good, though supplies remain tight on medium and larger sizes. There is good volume on choice. Overall quality in the East is good despite some reports of lighter color fruit being reported in the fields. Nogales crossing are still lighter as we finish up older blocks. We anticipate breaking newer blocks over the next two weeks. Coachella has just begun to scratch easing pressure on Nogales. FOB prices will remain steady over the next two weeks. Red Bell Pepper: Markets are easing and we should see additional numbers available this week.
10 Quality is still very nice. Yellow Pepper: Production is light and is pushing the market higher. Quality is still very nice. Mini Sweet Pepper: Markets remain mixed by region. Good supplies are available in the west; supplies in the east are a hit or miss. EGGPLANT Warmer weather continues to improve availability on both coasts; FOB prices are unchanged this week and quality is very nice. CUCUMBERS Offshore deal is now done while Florida continues to ramp up pushing FOB prices down. Quality is very nice. West coast supplies are ample thanks to 4 main growing regions producing solid numbers. Quality remains great. ENGLISH CUCUMBERS (EURO) There are excellent supplies crossing through Nogales and McAllen.